From Cleveland: The stories to know on Thursday morning from the Republican Convention

Will Ted Cruz's epic gamble pay off?

Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) choice not to endorse Donald Trump on stage is playing in the media as an epic gamble on the 2020 election, a bet that Trump will lose big this November and the conservative Texas senator will be hailed for his judgment in four years.

In a tense moment at the convention, Cruz was lustily booed off stage, with Trump’s vociferous supporters in the New York delegation only dozens of feet from Cruz’s podium. Cruz’s wife, Heidi, was pulled from the convention floor, and anger boiled over during the speeches of Eric Trump and vice presidential nominee Mike Pence.

Trump and Cruz have a history, to put it kindly. In March, Trump retweeted an unflattering image of the first-term senator’s wife. Nearly two months later, Trump alluded that Cruz’s father may have had a role in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The need-to-know stories from Cleveland:
Tonight’s big questions: Can Trump appeal to undecided voters while maintaining the bravado that won him the Republican nomination? And will earlier speeches by political neophytes Ivanka Trump and Peter Thiel be effective?

Strange timing: Trump sat for an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday night and said he wouldn’t automatically come to the aid of some NATO allies against a Russian invasion. Instead, he would consider whether "they have fulfilled their obligations to us." NATO’s secretary general told BuzzFeed that the security of the U.S. and and Europe are closely tied, saying, "We defend one another."

Remember the other speech? Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence’s address to the convention was a solid, attack-dog speech taking it to the other party and embracing the traditional role of the second spot on the ticket. But it was largely overshadowed in the media on Thursday morning after Cruz’s endorsement denial.

Outside Quicken Arena: 18 people were arrested, and police said two officers were assaulted after a protester tried to light an American flag on fire. The officers’ injuries were said to be minor. About 200 officers rushed to the scene, about a block from the perimeter that cuts off the arena from the public.

Ted Cruz wasn’t the only one who didn’t specifically endorse Trump. Retired NASA astronaut Eileen Collins did not repeat an explicit reference to the Republican nominee that was in the original text of her speech. She said before the event that she didn't intend to deliver a political speech.

Q2 earnings: Publicis Groupe downplayed Brexit concerns in its second-quarter earnings, reporting a 3% revenue increase. (The holding company does not break out PR numbers). Interpublic Group's Constituency Management Group, which contains most of its PR agencies, reported a 2.8% organic revenue increase in Q2). 

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